The Intergenerational Effects of the Vietnam Draft on Risky Behaviors

68 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2020 Last revised: 16 Jan 2022

See all articles by Monica Deza

Monica Deza

City University of New York (CUNY)

Alvaro Mezza

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: September 2020

Abstract

We exploit the natural experiment provided by the Vietnam lottery draft to evaluate the intergenerational effect of fathers’ draft eligibility on children’s propensity to engage in risky health behaviors during adolescence using the NLSY97. Draft eligibility increases measures of substance use, intensity of use, decreases age of initiation—particularly for marijuana—and increases measures of delinquency. We explore potential mechanisms: Draft eligibility affects paternal parenting styles and attitudes towards the respondent, environmental aspects, and even maternal factors. Results are robust to alternative specifications and falsification diagnostics. Our results indicate that previous analyses underestimate the full negative effects of draft eligibility.

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Suggested Citation

Deza, Monica and Mezza, Alvaro, The Intergenerational Effects of the Vietnam Draft on Risky Behaviors (September 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27830, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3696198

Monica Deza (Contact Author)

City University of New York (CUNY) ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Alvaro Mezza

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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